po·e·sy n. pl. po·e·sies 1. Poetical works; poetry. 2. The art or practice of composing poems. 3. The inspiration involved in composing poetry. [Middle English poesie, from Old French, from Latin posis, from Greek poisis, from poiein, to create; see kwei-2 in Indo-European roots.]

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

July 19 – ASJ Tessimond

English poet Arthur Seymour John Tessimond 
                                                         July 19, 1902 - May 13, 1962

Attack On The Ad-Man by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond

This trumpeter of nothingness, employed                             
To keep our reason dull and null and void.                             
This man of wind and froth and flux will sell                             
The wares of any who reward him well.                         
Praising whatever he is paid to praise,                             
He hunts for ever-newer, smarter ways                             
To make the gilt seen gold; the shoddy, silk;                             
To cheat us legally; to bluff and bilk                             
By methods which no jury can prevent                             
Because the law's not broken, only bent.                             

This mind for hire, this mental prostitute                             
Can tell the half-lie hardest to refute;                             
Knows how to hide an inconvenient fact                             
And when to leave a doubtful claim unbacked;                             
Manipulates the truth but not too much,                             
And if his patter needs the Human Touch,                             
Skillfully artless, artlessly naive,                             
Wears his convenient heart upon his sleeve.                             

He uses words that once were strong and fine,                             
Primal as sun and moon and bread and wine,                             
True, honourable, honoured, clear and keen,                             
And leaves them shabby, worn, diminished, mean.                             
He takes ideas and trains them to engage                             
In the long little wars big combines wage...                             
He keeps his logic loose, his feelings flimsy;                             
Turns eloquence to cant and wit to whimsy;                             
Trims language till it fits his clients, pattern                             
And style's a glossy tart or limping slattern.                             

He studies our defences, finds the cracks                             
And where the wall is weak or worn, attacks.                             
lie finds the fear that's deep, the wound that's tender,                             
And mastered, outmanouevered, we surrender.                             
We who have tried to choose accept his choice                             
And tired succumb to his untiring voice.                             
The dripping tap makes even granite soften                             
We trust the brand-name we have heard so often                             
And join the queue of sheep that flock to buy;                             
We fools who know our folly, you and I.


Houses by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond  
People who are afraid of themselves
Multiply themselves into families
And so divide themselves
And so become less afraid.

People who might have to go out
Into clanging strangers' laughter,
Crowd under roofs, make compacts
To no more than smile at each other.

People who might meet their own faces
Or surprise their own voices in doorways
Build themselves rooms without mirrors
And live between walls without echoes.

People who might meet other faces
And unknown voices round corners
Build themselves rooms all mirrors
And live between walls all echoes.

People who are afraid to go naked
Clothe themselves in families, houses,
But are still afraid of death
Because death one day will undress them.


One Day by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond

People will touch and talk perhaps easily,
And loving be natural as breathing,
And warm as sunlight;

And people will untie themselves,
As string is unknotted,

Unfold and yawn and stretch and spread
Their fingers;

Unfurl, uncurl, like seaweed returned
To the sea.

And work will be simple and swift
Like a seagull flying;

And play will be casual and quiet
Like a seagull sitting.

And the clocks will stop, and no - one
Will wonder or care or notice.

And people will smile without reason,
Even in the winter
Even in the rain.


Seaport by Arthur Seymour John Tessimond

Green sea-tarnished copper
And sea-tarnished gold
Of cupolas.

Sea-runnelled streets
Channelled by salt air
That wears the white stone.

The sunlight-filled cistern
Of a dry-dock. Square shadows.
Sun-slatted smoke above meticulous stooping of cranes.

Water pressed up by ships' prows
Going, coming.

City dust turned
Back by the sea-wind's

– Cat   

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